Ankiel feels good after taking batting practice

Ankiel feels good after taking batting practice

Ankiel feels good after taking batting practice
WASHINGTON -- Nationals outfielder Rick Ankiel, on the disabled list because of a right wrist injury, took batting practice for the first time at Nationals Park on Monday afternoon. He swung the bat without any problems.

Ankiel will take batting practice again Tuesday. If the session is successful, Ankiel will then participate in a rehab assignment.

"Everything went well, I felt good. I like the way it went," Ankiel said. "I want to come back and help the team and compete. I want to keep that competitive fire out there."

Ankiel, who hurt his wrist trying to catch a fly ball against the Phillies in early May, is hitting .221 with one home run and seven RBIs, but has been outstanding on defense.

Once he is ready to play in the big leagues, Ankiel will most likely return as the starting center fielder, while Roger Bernadina will become the everyday left fielder.

Currently, Bernadina is in center, while Laynce Nix is platooning with Mike Morse in left. Nix has received most of the playing time and has done a good job, hitting .310 with five home runs and 16 RBIs entering play Monday.

"I definitely want Mike in there when a left-hander's pitching," manager Jim Riggleman said. "Early in the year he was starting against everyone and struggling, so we took advantage of what Nix was doing. Right now, if a right-hander's pitching, Nix is going to be in there. If a left-hander's pitching, Morse is going to be in there."